What is the difference between 'Can I help you with' and 'Can I help you'?

please teach me how they are different.

  • It's not syntactically valid to end your utterance with the preposition with (it must refer to something - a noun, pronoun, demonstrative, or similar, such as Can I help you with that?). Valid prepositions that can stand alone include Can I help you out? (implied metaphorical ...out of your problematical situation) and Can I help you up? (implied literal ...up from your low seating position). Jul 18 '17 at 12:31

Can I help you? is an "open-ended" question; it does not place any explicit limitations on what help the person being asked may request. There may be implicit limitations imposed by context; for example, a store employee approaching you while you are looking at the counter they are responsible for may ask the open-ended Can I help you?, but is really only inquiring if you need assistance with the products being sold at that counter.

Can I help you with {whatever}? is a limiting question; the person asking is explicitly specifying that their willingness or ability to assist is limited to {whatever}.

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